RUSTON, La. – Technology is a fast-moving, fascinating thing. And Louisiana Tech University uses the latest technology to train students in the biological sciences.
The Justin and Jeanette Hinckley Virtual Anatomy Lab in Carson Taylor Hall now has what is known as the Anatomage Table. It is a 3D anatomy and physiology tool that educates students through hands-on virtual dissection training.
The table enables students to study anatomy and physiology through any system of the body down to the cellular level. No cartoons or computer generated images are used. These are pictures of real people who donated their bodies to science.
“It’s real MRI images, real CT scans, real X-rays,” said William Campbell, director of the Louisiana Tech School of Biological Sciences. “And so they were put together, separated from the individual, and then put back together again in the individual. So you can scroll through these things and look at the different images, the different layers represented by the different images. But yes, it’s all real data from real people. “
“It’s insane how much detail it can show in relation to different tissue systems in the skin, as everything in relation to anatomy,” said Taylor Teach, a PhD student in biology, of the Anatomage Table. “And I think that overall it will really add to tech’s biology curriculum.”
The table also includes study material from animals that will benefit students in curricula prior to Veterinary Medicine or Animal Science.
Each body in the table is unique.
“Some of these people included in the images in the table had different pathologies. And you can see these different pathologies, whether it was a tumor or a leukemia, ”said Campbell. “With some animals there are car accidents, there are gunshot wounds. So there is a lot to see here, not just the anatomy, but also pathologies and accidents and the like. “
Teach says the layers of detail in the table are exceptional.
“I think the most fascinating thing about this table is the scalpel tool because you can cut into a specific section of the human body and see it and then tap on it to take it apart, layer by layer,” she said.
The Hinkley Virtual Anatomy Lab is used by multiple departments including biology, nursing, kinesiology, animal science, and others.